Compass Slammed over Food Quality; CITY BRIEFING

Article excerpt

Byline: JIM ARMITAGE

TROUBLED catering giant Compass has another potential looming crisis in its UK operations, it was claimed today.

Stockbroker Panmure Gordon's analyst Mike Murphy said the company in the middle of a UN contract scandal has slashed the prices it pays its food suppliers to such an extent that quality has fallen dramatically.

Compass's chefs and catering managers are now saying the ingredients they are being supplied with are too poor to keep up standards, he claimed.

"UK purchasing is an ugly monster in the Compass organisation and it's getting worse," said Murphy. "Compass has an exceedingly poor reputation among its suppliers - one recently told me the company was 'evil'."

Suppliers are increasingly looking to diversify their sales away from Compass's central procurement centre to other customers prepared to pay for better quality produce, he said.

Compass, shamed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver for using processed "turkey twizzlers" in its school dinners, denied Murphy's charges.

It knew of only one of its thousands of suppliers unwilling to trade with it and added that it had received complaints about only 0. …

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